Why Is My MacBook Pro Running So Slow? Here’s Why (And Fix Methods)

Whenever someone opts for a Mac product, they are looking for reliability, better hardware performance, speed, better graphics, and so much more. As a result, it can be frustrating when your workhorse suddenly becomes so slow.

Owning a MacBook Pro or Air does not mean you will be immune from speed issues. Sometimes it is because of various activities you do on the MacBook that makes it slow down. Well, it does not have to be that way all the time. Today, we want to look at the reasons your MacBook is slow and how to fix it.

Reasons Your MacBook Pro/Air is Slow and How to Fix These Problems

1. You are Using an Outdated MacOS

There is a reason Apple keeps on updating their operating system. A newer operating system will always be faster than its predecessor. For years now, Apple releases a new operating system for your MacBook each year. The aim is to make their devices operate better and live up to user expectations.

If you are using an operating system from years ago, you might notice that your MacBook Pro gets slower with time.

The Fix:

You should opt for the latest version of macOS. The latest version you should use right now is macOS Catalina 10.15. Once you update your OSX, then you should notice a significant improvement in how your device operates. The best part is that the update is free. Simply update it from your App Store, and you are good to go.

2. Too Many Boot-up Apps

During the boot-up process of your MacBook Pro, there is a lot that goes on in the background. On many occasions, there will be several apps that start during this phase. As a result, they will make the whole process to take a lot longer to boot to a point you can use the MacBook.

The Fix:

This problem requires that you manage the Startup items and remove those that are unnecessary. No need to have too many apps being initiated during the boot-up process. So, how do you remove unnecessary apps from the startup list? Here is how to do it.

  • Go to System PreferencesUsers& Groups
  • Click on the preferred username
  • Click on Login Items to see the apps that start when you log in
  • Select the App that you do not need to launch during the booting process
  • Click on “-” at the bottom of the list to remove the App from the startup list

You will notice an improvement in the startup speed of your MacBook Pro the next time you restart it.

3. Too Many Unnecessary Apps Running

Apps use a lot of resources to run. For some people, they leave these apps running even when they are not using them anymore. When there are too many apps running in the background, you can expect to have fewer resources to run the apps that you need. As a result, having too many apps open leads to the MacBook slowing down.

The Fix:

To understand which apps are taking up many resources and are no longer needed, open the Activity Monitor. From the Activity Monitor window, you will have the option of selecting an app and ending it to free up more resources for other apps. Here is how you do it.

  • Open the Applications folder, then the Utilities folder
  • From the Utilities folder, open the app Activity Monitor
  • This app lists all the apps that are running in real time.
  • To filter by memory, click on the Memory tab to show which apps are taking up too much memory
  • Click on the app that you want to stop from the list and then click on the gray “X” icon at the top-left corner in the same window.

With these few simple steps, you should help boost the performance of your MacBook Pro.

4.  Your Macbook’s Hardware is Far Too Old

Sometimes your MacBook Pro/Air is simply too old, and that is why it is slow. If you have been using the same device for years now without any major upgrade to the hardware, it is likely to be slow with time. For old hardware, it might need taking drastic measures to improve the overall performance.

The Fix:

The other problems we look at on this list are software-list, which are easier to fix. The hardware-related problem needs upgrading the hardware, which might be pricey. The most common thing to replace will be the hard drive and RAM.

For a MacBook that uses 128 GB SSD, it might be time to upgrade to a 256 to 1 TB SSD. As for the memory, you should buy 8GB RAM sticks for your Mac. As of 2020, the 4GB RAMs are not enough to deal with the various apps’ requirements.

All the upgrades we have mentioned above are pricey. Depending on your need to maintain the same MacBook, some might decide to get a newer MacBook Pro with upgraded features. It can better than spending too much money on an older model.

5. Your “Startup Disk Almost Full”

As much as old hardware can slow down your MacBook, a full hard drive can still be a prime suspect. You might notice this even when the MacBook is still new, but has an almost full hard drive.

A full hard drive will make it hard for your MacBook to access all the resources it needs to work correctly. As such, it will take more time to execute several apps at any given time.

The Fix:

For most people, it might seem that the solution is to delete files they do not use. However, that is only part of the solution. You might delete your old movies, organize the desktop, but still the MacBook is slow. This is because there are many other files you probably do not remember that are still taking up more space.

To make it easy cleaning such unnecessary files, you need a good Mac cleanup tool. Luckily, such tools are available, and they are free. One such tool is the CleanMyMac X. The tool is good at going through your Mac and digging out all the unnecessary files that you might want to delete.

Here is why the CleanMyMac X is preferred by many MacBook Pro owners.

  • The tool is easy to use as thanks to its simple interface. By clicking on one button, it can scan and optimize your MacBook.
  • This tool goes through the whole hard drive to dig up all the junk files that you do not need. Such files can include outdated DMG installers, caches, extra localizations, and so much more.
  • If you had forgotten about those old large files, the special algorithm of the software will find them. Deleting such large files should leave you with a faster Mac.

6. A Cluttered Desktop

You might have seen this on some people’s desktops. They use their desktops as a place to dump their files. Depending on the user, you can get them storing large files such as movies, music videos, and so much more on their desktops. This means that your macOS has a little active window to use for processing and rendering. Well, you guessed it, your Mac slows down.

The Fix:

The fix for this one is quite easy. You simply have to organize the files on your desktop into folders. Then, move them to another location that is not necessarily the desktop. Through the organization process, you are likely to find junk files that belong to Trash.

Cleaning up your desktop is not fun, but the results are always worth doing it. You will love the improvement in the performance of your MacBook Pro.

In Summary

The list above contains the most common reasons your MacBook Pro is slow. It might not have all the reasons for a slow MacBook, but it will get your device working better and faster again. From the fixes, we can see that it is possible to get the Mac working correctly in just a few simple steps. Well, the next time you notice that your MacBook Pro is slow, you now know what to do.